Back To Listing

Over 12 million Australians have jobs for the first time – including over 8 million full-time jobs, but real unemployment now 9.7% (1.295m)

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 517,844 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – January 2017 and includes 3,953 face-to-face interviews in January 2017.
For the first time in January over 12 million Australians are now employed – up 368,000 over the past year. However, a total of 2.402 million Australians, 17.9% of the workforce, were either unemployed (1,295,000) or under-employed (1,107,000) - down 173,000 (down 1.8%) from January 2016.

  • Unemployment is less than a year ago with 1.295 million Australians now unemployed (down 51,000 in a year and down 0.6% at 9.7%). The Roy Morgan real unemployment figures are substantially higher than the current ABS estimate for December 2016 (5.8%);

  • In January the total Australian workforce increased to 13,414,000 (up 316,000 since January 2016) and for the first time total employment was above 12 million – 12,120,000 (up 368,000);

  • In further good news over 8 million Australians are now employed full-time for the first time: now 8,085,000 – up 221,000 from a year ago (7,864,000 in January 2016). Part-time employment also grew strongly, increasing by 147,000 to 4,035,000 from January  2016 (3,888,000);

  • Under-employment in January is now 8.3% (down 1.1% since January 2016) of the work force and 1,107,000 Australians (down 122,000 since January 2016) are under-employed.

Roy Morgan Unemployed and ‘Under-employed’* Estimate

Unemployed or

‘Under-employed’*

Unemployed

Unemployed looking for

‘Under-employed’*

Full-time

Part-time

2015

‘000

%

‘000

%

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Jan-Mar 2015

2,384

18.9

1,327

10.5

656

672

1,057

8.4

Apr-Jun 2015

2,359

18.7

1,263

10.0

618

645

1,096

8.7

Jul-Sep 2015

2,061

16.2

1,109

8.7

518

591

952

7.5

Oct-Dec 2015

2,475

19.2

1,184

9.2

603

581

1,291

10.0

2016

Jan-Mar 2016

2,496

19.1

1,362

10.4

639

723

1,134

8.7

Apr-Jun 2016

2,322

18.1

1,317

10.2

637

680

1,005

7.8

Jul-Sep 2016

2,296

17.8

1,266

9.8

574

692

1,030

8.0

Oct-Dec 2016

2,446

18.9

1,191

9.2

635

556

1,255

9.7

Months

December 2015

2,690

20.7

1,256

9.7

722

534

1,434

11.0

January 2016

2,575

19.7

1,346

10.3

696

650

1,229

9.4

February 2016

2,480

18.8

1,319

10.0

589

730

1,161

8.8

March 2016

2,433

18.8

1,422

11.0

631

791

1,011

7.8

April 2016

2,322

18.1

1,334

10.4

611

723

988

7.7

May 2016

2,316

18.1

1,369

10.7

661

708

947

7.4

June 2016

2,326

17.9

1,247

9.6

637

610

1,079

8.3

July 2016

2,536

19.5

1,365

10.5

645

720

1,171

9.0

August 2016

2,249

17.5

1,332

10.4

544

788

917

7.1

September 2016

2,103

16.2

1,101

8.5

532

569

1,002

7.7

October 2016

2,454

19.1

1,188

9.2

626

562

1,266

9.9

November 2016

2,299

17.6

1,199

9.2

629

570

1,100

8.4

December 2016

2,584

20.0

1,186

9.2

650

536

1,398

10.8

January 2017

2,402

17.9

1,295

9.7

634

661

1,107

8.2

*Workforce includes those employed and those looking for work – the unemployed.


Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“For the first time total Australian employment exceeded 12 million in January – 12,120,000 (up 368,000 since January 2016) powered by increases in both full-time employment – 8,085,000 (up 221,000) and part-time employment 4,035,000 (up 147,000). January also marked the first month over 8 million Australians are employed full-time.

“However, despite the encouraging news, job creation in Australia is still not strong enough to significantly lower Australia’s real unemployment and under-employment – now 9.7% (1.295 million, down 51,000 from a year ago) Australians are unemployed, and an additional 8.2% (1.107 million, down 122,000) are under-employed – a total of 2.402 million (17.9%) looking for work or looking for more work.

New US President Donald Trump has consistently outlined the problems with the way unemployment is measured in the United States. In December Trump claimed the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unemployment rate was “totally fiction”. Trump’s insistence that the BLS severely under-estimates US unemployment is one of the primary reasons Trump was elected President.

“The BLS estimates US unemployment of 4.8% in January (U3 measure), although the more accurate U6 measure estimates US unemployment of 9.4%. However, during the Presidential election campaign Trump claimed real US unemployment was as high as 20%.

“The Australian Government faces the same problem Trump has called attention to – the ABS unemployment figure (5.8% for December 2016) severely under-estimates real Australian unemployment – and the ABS doesn’t even release a monthly estimate of Australian under-employment.

“The changing nature of the workforce in Australia, the United States, and for that matter around the world demands that Governments look seriously at amending the official measures of employment and unemployment that policymakers rely on to make decisions that impact millions of their citizens.

“If Governments are to look after the best interests of their citizens – as they’re elected to do – the crucial economic indicators like the unemployment estimates must be as accurate as possible, and not designed to under-state the problem for political purposes.

“In Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s case, it is imperative for his own political survival, and that of his L-NP Government, that an accurate measure of unemployment is used to set policy to ensure a growing Australian economy provides jobs to the over 2 million Australians looking for work or looking for more work.

“However, there is good news for the Turnbull Government this week with Victorian crossbench Senator Derryn Hinch announcing his support for bringing forward the implementation of the Government’s ABCC Bill which triggered last year’s Federal Election. When implemented the ‘new’ ABCC building code will significantly lower building costs if the Building Industry doesn’t give into union pressure as they have over the last 20+ years.

Today’s vigorous verbal assault on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten – calling the Opposition Leader ‘sycophantic’ and a ‘parasite’ and accusing Shorten of selling out the jobs and wages of Australian workers – shows Turnbull’s finally showing initiative by bringing the major issue facing Australia to the fore – industrial relations and the restrictive Australian IR laws that stop businesses hiring workers and leads to higher unemployment.”

This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and ‘under-employed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews of 517,844 Australians aged 14 and over between January 2007 – January 2017 and includes 3,953 face-to-face interviews in January 2017.

*The ‘under-employed’ are those people who are in part-time work or consultants who are looking for more work. (Unfortunately the ABS does not release this figure in their monthly unemployment survey results).


For further information

Contact

Office

Mobile

Gary Morgan:     

+61 3 9224 5213  

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:       

+61 3 9224 5215  

+61 411 129 093


Unemployment Data Tables

Roy Morgan Research Employment Estimates (2001-2017)

Roy Morgan Research Unemployment & Under-employment Estimates (2007-2017)

Roy Morgan Research vs ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2017)

ABS Employment Estimates (1992-2016)

Roy Morgan Monthly Unemployment Estimate - January 2017 - 9.7%

Roy Morgan Quarterly Unemployment Estimate - December Quarter 2016 - 9.2%

Roy Morgan Monthly Under-employment Estimate - January 2017 - 17.9%


ROY MORGAN MEASURES REAL UNEMPLOYMENT IN AUSTRALIA

NOT THE ‘PERCEPTION’ OF UNEMPLOYMENT – JUNE 8, 2012

http://www.roymorgan.com/~/media/Files/Papers/2012/20120603.pdf

The Roy Morgan Unemployment estimate is obtained by surveying an Australia-wide cross section by face-to-face interviews. A person is classified as unemployed if they are looking for work, no matter when.

The results are not seasonally adjusted and provide an accurate measure of monthly unemployment estimates in Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment estimates are obtained by mostly telephone interviews. Households selected for the ABS Survey are interviewed each month for eight months, with one-eighth of the sample being replaced each month. The first interview is conducted face-to-face. Subsequent interviews are then conducted by telephone.

The ABS classifies a person as unemployed if, when surveyed, they have been actively looking for work in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and if they were available for work in the reference week.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment estimates are also seasonally adjusted.

For these reasons the Australian Bureau of Statistics Unemployment estimates are different from the Roy Morgan Unemployment estimate. Gary Morgan's concerns regarding the ABS Unemployment estimate is clearly outlined in his letter to the Australian Financial Review, which was not published.


Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

% Estimate

 

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2